Scotland rugby coach Scott Johnson has dismissed fears that his side could be the latest to suffer at the hands of Ireland’s noted “choke tackling” in Sunday’s RBS Six Nations Championship clash at Murrayfield.
The Irish have a reputation for being able to isolate ball carriers, hold them up using two defenders, and squeeze possession away.
But Johnson insisted: “Choke tackling is usually a response to a bad attack so we have to make sure we get our attack right.”
Australian Johnson appeared more concerned that some of the momentum generated by the record 34-10 win over Italy in Edinburgh last time out may evaporate due to a fortnight’s break.
“We had confidence but the emphasis has probably been lost as we had a week off.
“Fact is we are not there to delude ourselves; we did plenty right but not perfect.
“We need to keep working on the things we need to improve.”
Johnson claimed a settled team was always likely, particularly given the tightness of the schedule.
“We had a two-week view of things and a week’s preparation.
“Unless something had happened (against Italy) that was completely unacceptable we were going to go in like we did in the first two weeks.”
Johnson admitted his view of Ireland had been affected by the wind and rain which prevailed when they went down 12-6 to England in Dublin.
“When looking on the telly it is bad – it must have been horrendous out there on the pitch. But what I saw were two combative sides, two tough teams, in a genuine warrior contest.
“Ireland showed that when it is a tough game they will fight you to the end.”
Johnson also shrugged aside the revelation that he had presided over a Scottish team who, last time out, did something for the first time since 1924 in the championship, in seeing four different backs scoring tries. “The game has changed a bit and you can get caught up in these facts. What’s pleasing is they took the opportunities,” he said.